I took my kids on a vacation to Disney World...their dream vacation, actually, although it didn't turn out that way. Midway through we get a call that their grandmother (the REAL one, who was never a dub and who HASN'T EVER turned her back on the kids or on me even thru my divorce from her son, unlike my own JW mother) is in serious condition at the hospital. We spent one of our 'vacation' days sitting in a hospital ICU waiting room, timing our 15 minute visits so that we could see her, and throughout it all the kids were troopers. Not one complaint, not one expression that they would rather be swimming at the wonderful pool or riding rides at the Magic Kingdom...only concern for their father and their grandmother.
Yesterday, we learned that Gramma is terminal and there's nothing we can do. Nothing. I felt so helpless this morning, holding my 10 year old daughter on my lap, with her sobbing and asking me how anyone can ever be happy when such bad things happen. My son, who is almost 12, doesn't want to go visit his grandmother anymore. He acts like nothing is happening, his way of dealing I guess. My daughter goes with me every time I visit Jo (my ex mother-in-law legally, but someone who will always hold a place in my heart). Delaney holds her grandmother's hand and acts like she's unafraid, she smiles and kisses Jo's cheek, but privately she tells me that she's terrified. I try to console her, but what can I say to lessen the pain that she feels?? That all of us feel.
You should see Jo's face light up when Delaney leans over and whispers "Gramma, it's me, Delaney". She's 83 years old...she's raised three boys and contributed so much to the world, in the boys she raised to be men, in the wonderful fathers that they are, and the grandchildren that because of her, exist and give us so much joy. Jo graduated high school at the age of 14 and would have gone to college if such things were encouraged in girls back then. She's small, barely 5' tall, she's spunky, kind and loving. Our hearts are breaking; my children have seen their father cry for the first time in their lives. This is so wrong but there's absolutely nothing I or their father can do to halt it, to make it better, to make it go away, to make Gramma well again.
We don't know how long we'll have Jo...the doctors have told us it could be any day or a few months from now. All I know for sure is that I'm having one of the those "mom" moments where I want to gather up those that I love and whisk them away to some place where they can't be harmed or hurt anymore. Sometimes, life just ain't any fun.